A former Halliwells property lawyer who was made redundant from the firm while she was in the middle of a three-day labour has failed in her action to recover £66,000 from HBJ Gateley Wareing (now Gateley).
The case was dismissed at a London employment tribunal following a preliminary hearing in the capital.
Gateley was one of four firms that bought Halliwells’ assets after the firm went into administration on 20 July 2010, picking up 11 of the failed firm’s practices, including real estate.
The London-based property lawyer, who brought the £66,451.76 action, claimed that she was made redundant as part of a plan to get Halliwells into shape before being sold and that, since she was in hospital giving birth during the redundancy programme, she was not consulted, in accordance with the law.
Her claim stated: “The redundancy consultation process ended on 26 May, which was within two weeks of me giving birth (potentially a breach of compulsory maternity leave provisions). This protection afforded to new mothers is deemed so important that a breach of this provision is a criminal offence.”
Gateley is fighting a separate claim for failure to consult and unfair dismissal brought by a senior member of Halliwells’ business support staff.